Old Elbe Tunnel or St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel (German: Alter Elbtunnel (coll.) or St. Pauli Elbtunnel (official name)) which opened in 1911, is a pedestrian and vehicle tunnel in Hamburg, Germany. The 426 m (1,398 ft) long tunnel was a technical sensation; 24 m (80 ft) beneath the surface, two tubes with 6 m (20 ft) diameter connect central Hamburg with the docks and shipyards on the south side of the river Elbe. This meant a big improvement for tens of thousands of workers in one of the busiest harbours in the world.
Four huge lifts on either side of the tunnel carried pedestrians, carriages and motor vehicles to the bottom. They are still in operation, though due to the limited capacity by today's standards, other bridges and tunnels have been built and taken over most of the traffic.
In 2008 approx 300.000 cars, 63.000 bicycles and 700.000 pedestrians used the tunnel. The tunnel is opened 24 hours for pedestrians and bicycles. For motorized vehicles opening times are currently Monday to Friday from 5.20 AM to 8.00 PM, on Saturdays from 5.20 AM to 4.00 PM.
Maintenance works are planned for 2009 and 2010 for the west bore and for 2010 and 2011 for the east bore.